House backs restrictions on foreigners in Papua

House backs restrictions on foreigners in Papua

Deputy Speaker of DPR RI Fadli Zon talked to the press at DPR RI Building in Jakarta, Friday, September 6, 2019. (ANTARA/Zuhdiar Laeis/Sw)

It is probably reasonable for now if the government limits the access of foreigners to Papua for their safety
Jakarta (ANTARA) - House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia (DPR RI) has backed the policy of restricting foreigners in Papua adopted by the government following an anti-racism rally that caused a riot on August 29. "It is probably reasonable for now if the government limits the access of foreigners to Papua for their safety," Deputy Speaker of DPR RI Fadli Zon stated here on Friday.

That is not the sole reason for the policy to be implemented, Zon said.

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He believed that the earlier visa-free policy in Papua was imprudently implemented and could undergo some reassessments. "What is the purpose of the policy? If it is only for tourism we should keep supporting it."

However, if foreigners are coming to Papua for purposes other than tourism they should be screened carefully.

"There are probably some parties who want to conduct some unpleasant stuff, such as broadcasting fake news," Zon remarked.

Even then, Coordinating Minister for Political Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto confirmed that the government had only restricted and not banned foreigners in Papua.

"Later, once the situation in Papua becomes conducive, which means when peace returns, we will let all foreigners come in. They can tour Raja Ampat as usual, allowing Indonesia to earn foreign exchange. There have never been any restrictions before but we are sorry that we have to do it for now," Wiranto added. 

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